(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"

CHAPTER SIX

A Cross-section Through My Mail—A Would-be Suicide and My Answer—
Telepathic Aid to Students.

THE messenger who periodically brings the mail from the nearest
postal point in heated India must be one of the world's champion
walkers. Day in and day out he does nothing but walk! He does his
twenty to twenty-five miles a day, by the grace of God and his sturdy
shoes, but thinks little of them. He invariably arrives after nightfall.,
generally soaked to the skin by one of those storms which now
atiack this region almost daily, opens his valise and deposits the
usual budget of letters upon the table. Then, after a meal and a
drink and a night's rest, he is off again early the next morning,
walking the long lone mountain trails with rny own despatches for
civilization. And so he passes his life, a simple primitive soul, faithful
and devoted to his service, ever walking!

He is a man who might have given Charles Lamb the meat for a
well-turned witty essay, had he been born in England and in the
early nineteenth century. But destiny had reserved him for my
service upon these thread-like tracks, and for sight of a world
where aeroplanes buzz deafeningly in the air like giant bees and
smart coaches run like lightning without a single horse to pull
them!

To me he is a valued necessity for he keeps open my line of
communication with the outer world. Such a service might well
have been scornfully disdained by the ancient or mediaeval hermits,
but to a twentieth-century hermit like myself it is a welcome one.
Modern habits for moidern hermits is my slogan.

Thus I live secluded but not isolated.

Once I looked upon these strangely varied epistolary missives,
which pour in from the four points of the compass, as disturbers of
my private peace. When an author has written his fifteen hundred
words for the day on his next book, and possibly a few paragraphs
of a newspaper article, he is in no mood to take up his pen again and
write a further two or three thousand words in the form of answers
to unknown correspondents or news-letters to acquaintances and
friends, especially if he must keep a daily period inviolate to his
Goddess, meditation. If anything, he will dislike letter-writing as an
irksome and fatiguing treadmill.

Certainly I could not toil like French Flaubert for three days

59